no-see-um

no-see-um

[noh-see-uhm]
noun Northern and Western U.S.

Origin:
1840–50, Americanism; pseudo-AmerInd E version of you can't see them

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Encyclopedia Britannica
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no-see-um

any member of a family of small, bloodsucking insects in the fly order, Diptera, that are often serious pests along seashores, rivers, and lakes and may attack in great numbers and cause extreme discomfort. The nickname no-see-ums is descriptive, for, although its irritating bite is felt, the female midge is often difficult to find. Biting midges are usually about 1 mm (0.04 inch) long.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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